SITA commits to SMME development

November 11, 2011 11:33 am 0 comments

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The State IT Agency (SITA) says it is on course to transform and become the lead ICT agency that plays a strategic role in ICT growth and development.

The agency also says it’s committed to enacting on its SMME development strategy. The agency’s COO, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni admits that its procurement requirements have not been favourable to SMME’s and that most had given up trying to do business with the agency. 

“We have some requirements that are not really necessary in awarding a certain tender and we must do away with that,” she said.

Ntshavheni reiterated that’s the agency plans to have as many SMME’s on the database so as to increase competiveness in awarding of tenders. 

“The cabling industry for example needs to change, how do you explain why there  are only 20 companies in that sector? We need to have multiple suppliers as well,” Ntshavheni explained.

Most SMME’s have always complained about the payment problems they went through after invoicing. However Ntshavheni says that at times the problem lies with the fact that the work invoiced for was not satisfactory. 

“You cannot sign off an invoice for a job that does not meet your satisfaction, therefore there is going to be delays in signing off the invoice and impact on payment. There are instances where people render unacceptable  service and expects to be paid. That cannot be,” she said.   

SITA also committed itself in upgrading and cleaning out its website so it can be user friendly and eliminate unnecessary barriers for service providers. It says there are forms like having to prove that an SMME is indeed  what it says it is online without stating which criteria to prove with. 

Ntshavheni also hit at tenderpreneurs saying her agency was not there to make people rich but to ensure there are adequate skills to boost the industry and subsequently the country.

“You have an instance where a company has been in business for a long time getting tenders but not having man power and even an office in some instances, the entire project gets outsourced to other companies. Where is the skills growth in that? It cannot be left to continue,” she warned.

The agency has among others committed to engage with SMME’s and creating opportunities for growth through our process to procure in SITA; make available its own resources to support SMME development; foster and nurture the Indigenous ICT sector in a responsible manner for all to benefit; engage through its industry engagement and partnership strategy to support an integrated and transformational environment for SMME development.

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